In America today, two communities with sub-Saharan African genetic origins exist side by side, though they have differing histories and positions within society. This book explores the relationship between African Americans, descendants of those Africans brought to America as slaves, and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who have come to the United States of America voluntarily, mainly since the 1990s. Members of these groups have both a great deal in common and much that separates them, largely hidden in their assumptions about, and attitudes towards, each other. In a work grounded in extensive fieldwork Bondarenko and his research team interviewed African Americans, and migrants from twenty-three African States and five Caribbean nations, as well as non-black Americans involved with African Americans and African migrants. Seeking a wide range of perspectives, from different ages, classes and levels of education, they explored the historically rooted mutual images of African Americans and contemporary African migrants, so as to understand how these images influence the relationship between them. In particular, they examined conceptions of ‘black history’ as a common history of all people and nations with roots in Africa. What emerges is a complex picture. While collective historical memory of oppression forges solidarity, lack of knowledge of each other’s history can create distance between communities. African migrants tend to define their identities not by race, but on the basis of multiple layers of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic affinities (of which African Americans are often unaware). For African Americans, however, although national and regional identities are important, it is above all race that is the defining factor. While drawing on wider themes from anthropology and African studies, this in-depth study on a little-researched subject allows valuable new understandings of contemporary American society.
The chapter by Dmitri Bondarenko, is on the role of historical memory in shaping the relations between African Americans – descendants of slaves forcibly brought from Africa to America centuries ago – and first-generation African immigrants in the USA. Basing on the first-hand evidence from the filed, the author argues that they do not form a single ‘black community’ and that among the reasons explaining this disunity, an important part is played by the different reflection of the past in their historical memory. Most African Americans and African migrants do not have an integral vision of history – of their own history and even more so of each other’s. Their historical consciousness is discrete: there is no history as a process in it, but there are several isolated bright topoi – the most important events. Although all these topoi are directly or indirectly related to the socio-political and spiritual resistance of black people to the whites’ exploitation in or outside Africa, they can be different or be of different importance to African Americans and Africans. There is no concept of ‘black history’ as common history of all the people whose roots are in Africa in the minds of most African Americans and African migrants, especially poorly educated. Bondarenko shows that the key events in African American and African history (namely, the pre-slave trade and pre-colonial period in Africa, transatlantic slave trade, slavery and its abolition in the USA, colonialism and anticolonial struggle in Africa, the civil rights movement in the USA, and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa) are reflected differently and occupy different places in the historical memory and collective consciousness of African Americans and contemporary African migrants to the USA. To some extent, visions of the past promote Africans and African Americans’ rapprochement as victims of long-lasting white domination. However, a deeper analysis shows how the collective historical memory of both groups works more in the direction of separating them by generating and supporting contradictory and even negative images of each other. In general, the relations between African Americans and recent African migrants are characterized by simultaneous mutual attraction and repulsion. Among all ethnoracial communities in the country, the two groups (and also African Caribbeans) consider themselves as the closest to each other; nevertheless, myriads of differences cause mutual repulsion.
The article highlights the results of field research conducted in Tanzania in August-September 2018, focused on historical memory about Arab slave trade in East Africa and Indian Ocean in the 19-th century and its influence on modern-day interethnic relations in the country.
The present article, based on field evidence collected in 2017, deals with a very recent phenomenon — the Orthodox Old Believers in Uganda. This faith originated in Russia, however in Uganda all its adherents belong to African ethnic groups. We describe the short by now history and current state of the Old-Believer communities in Uganda and then concentrate on their members’ motivation for converting to Old Believers vs. knowledge of this religion. We show that what brings them to Old Believers is the search for the true faith associated with the original and hence correct way of performing Christian rites. In this we see an intricate interplay of the features typical for authentic African cultures and acquired by them in the course of interaction with the wider world. Basing on our case study, we discuss how globalist and anti-globalist trends manifest themselves in the religious context in contemporary Africa.
The aim of this volume is to study various manifestations of how the past influences the present in contemporary African societies and diaspora communities (called so irrespective of the generation of migrants to which the people that form these communities now belong). The contributors look at the role of the past in shaping modern Africa and African diasporas in different contexts – cultural, social, political – and from different perspectives: ‘subjectivist’ (through the imprints and reflections of the past in human minds) and ‘objectivist’ (through the ways by which the social, political, and cultural events of the past direct the processes in the respective spheres nowadays).
The authors introduce the theme of African futures, and insist on the plural meanings it involves as both a concept and an empirical reality. The relationship between the continent’s futures and its multiple pasts and presents are considered, and the concept of ‘trajectory’ is used to integrate those multiple African realities into an integrated picture of human agency and human
Contributors to this volume discuss a variety of ways the African past (African history) influences the present-day of Africans on the continent and in diaspora: cultural (historical) memory as a factor of public (mass) consciousness; the impact of the historical past on contemporary political, social, and cultural processes in Africa and African diaspora.
This volume is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).
The paper deals with social advertisement on HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and malaria in African cities. Each of these diseases is treated differently by the authors of advertisements in terms of key messages to citizens, ways of representation and emotional component. Billboards dedicated to Ebola and malaria are logical, consistent and easily understandable: they give a very clear instructions on the ways of protection from the diseases, although the advertising strategies in these two cases differ greatly (Ebola social advertising uses disturbing colors, splashes of red, multiple exclamation points, clearly indicating emergency situation and drawing people’s attention in a very aggressive way, while malaria social advertising is very calm and positive emotionally, it uses positive images, images of smiling people, smiling children, photos of famous people inspiring their fellow citizens to sleep under nets and care about their families). In case of HIV/AIDS various approaches to the problem are shown: examples of ABC strategy, useless abstract billboards without any message except for “Stop AIDS”, billboards widely using manipulation and false logic to motivate people to be tested for HIV. The authors of HIV/AIDS’ social advertisement to some extent face the same challenges, as the actual epidemiologists due to the way of transmission of the disease and it social character, issues of personal choice and sexual behavior, and in many cases they fail to succeed. However, successful examples with clear, efficient and consistent messages are also present.
The article analyses the debates among the South African establishment on the Land issue and a possible amendment to the Constitution which would enable the government to expropriate land without any financial compensation. It is crucial to note that the Land reform is currently high on the agenda of the South African society, to say the least. Debates on the expropriation of land without compensation were resumed in the country shortly after December 2017 when ANC announced its readiness to reconsider article 25 of the Constitution, the article which stipulates property rights for land. Whereas there is a common understanding in South Africa that the land issue is to be addressed as soon as possible, opinions on how to achieve this goal differ significantly. Proceeding from their field research conducted in South Africa, the authors analyze the stand of the modern church organizations and social movements on the Land reform. The question hanging in the air is whether it is acceptable to expropriate land in order to fix the housing crisis in the South African megalopolises. Also, the article attempts to consider the Land reform as a possible solution to the housing crisis in South Africa. All things considered, the Land reform is a multifaceted issue with too many stakeholders, including government and different social, traditional and religious groups. In a nutshell, the Land reform is a Catch 22 situation where any move could be fraught with serious repercussions.
The сhapter of the collective monograph gives a sketch of quasi-monotheistic and genotheistic tendencies in the Egyptian religion of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC. and problems of interrelations between these trends and the genesis of Hebrew monotheism
The chapter of the collective monograph deals with the history of the formation and monotheisation of the ethno-religious community of the Samaritans.
This article examines the phenomenon of South African stokvels and burial societies and the transformations these associations are currently undergoing. Drawing on the socio-culturalist analysis of economic action (Neves, du Toit, 2012: 131, van Donge, 1992), the article investigates the topic of mutuality through looking at the contemporary development on the field of rotating savings and credit associations in South Africa. The article is based on a field study conducted in Gauteng Province, South Africa, during two months stay in October–November 2014, 2015, 2017. Authors claim that in the mid-2010s conventional stokvels and burial societies are becoming the characteristic feature of the ‘normalized’ life of the middle classes, whereas the representatives of the urban underclass are increasingly engaging in the digital Ponzi schemes as a means of day-to-day survival, but also in the pursuit of the magical ‘instant enrichment’.
The chapter deals with the questions of the existence of the cult of Yahweh in the pre-Hebrew world of the Levant and of continuation of such cults in parallel with the Hebrew worship of Yahweh
In the collection of articles based on reports read at the round table "Language (s) of ancient Egyptian culture: the problems of translatability", held in 2017, presents works relating to different periods of the history of Ancient Egypt. They touch upon a variety of issues related to the issues of various Egyptological disciplines: history, philology, religious studies, art history, and cultural studies. The articles are devoted to the specificity of the embodiment and dialogue of verbal and non-verbal languages of ancient Egyptian culture.
Previous research has documented associations of physical strength and facial morphology predominantly in men of Western societies. Faces of strong men tend to be more robust, are rounder and have a prominent jawline compared with faces of weak men. Here, we investigate whether the morphometric patterns of strength-face relationships reported for members of industrialized societies can also be found in members of an African pastoralist society, the Maasai of Northern Tanzania.
Materials and methods
Handgrip strength (HGS) measures and facial photographs were collected from a sample of 185 men and 120 women of the Maasai in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In young-adults (20–29 years; n = 95) and mid-adults (30–50 years; n = 114), we digitized 71 somatometric landmarks and semilandmarks to capture variation in facial morphology and performed shape regressions of landmark coordinates upon HGS. Results were visualized in the form of thin-plate plate spline deformation grids and geometric morphometric morphs.
Individuals with higher HGS tended to have wider faces with a lower and broader forehead, a wider distance between the medial canthi of the eyes, a wider nose, fuller lips, and a larger, squarer lower facial outline compared with weaker individuals of the same age-sex group. In mid-adult men, these associations were weaker than in the other age-sex groups.
We conclude that the patterns of HGS relationships with face shape in the Maasai are similar to those reported from related investigations in samples of industrialized societies. We discuss differences between the present and related studies with regard to knowledge about the causes for age- and sex-related facial shape variation and physical strength associations.
People judge food wasting as an immoral behavior. Although moral concerns vary widely across cultures, to this date, food wasting moral judgments were investigated only among rich and industrialized ones. This study reports first evidence of cultural variability on moral judgments of food wasting between modern and traditional cultures. We conducted our study among the Maasai - pastoralists of Ngorongoro, Yali - horticulturalists of West Papua, and among citizens of Poland. According to the results, Maasai judge food wasting as more immoral compared to Yali and Poles. What's more, Yali judge food wasting harsher than Poles. These results suggest that there are cultural differences in moral judgments of food wasting. These differences might reflect the impact of unstable ecology on food economy of a given society. We hypothesize that harsh moral judgment concerning food waste may serve as a cultural adaptation for food insecurity.
A model including individual-level predictors (gender, age, material situation, education, and preferred social distance) provided a relatively good fit to the data, but adding country-level predictors (Human Development Index, population density, and average temperature) did not improve model parameters. Although there were some cross-cultural differences in social odor awareness, the main differentiating role was played by the individual differences. This suggests that people living in different cultures and different climate conditions may still share some similar patterns of odor awareness if they share other individual-level characteristics.
During the fieldwork phase of the Epigraphic Atlas of Peten project between 2013 and 2016, the majority of hieroglyphic inscriptions from Itsimte (Department of Peten, Guatemala) were redocumented. Stelae 2, 5 and 7 provided new data on the Itsimte dynasty that was founded ca. 200–220 AD.
The preference of sweetened foods can be influenced by a variety of biological, psychological, sociological, and environmental factors. In this study, we focused on differences across three distinct societies: 1) a modern society (i.e., Polish people, n = 199), 2) forager-horticulturalists from Amazon/Bolivia (Tsimane', n = 138), and 3) traditional hunter-gatherers from Tanzania (Hadza, n = 81). To measure sweet preference, participants were asked to drink three cups containing slightly acidic solutions (pH = 2.79) varying in sucrose concentration (w/v; 0%, 25%, 67%). Only 5% of the Polish participants chose the sweetest cup as their favorite, while this cup was chosen by 74% of the Hadza and 53% of the Tsimane’ participants. Further, age was an inversely related to sweet preference for Polish participants; however, age did not predict preferences for both Tsimane’ and Hadza tribes. We discuss our findings in the context of environmental and cultural differences between the participating populations.